Valéry Gergiev is said to be at his best when interpreting Russian composers. Convincing evidence is given with this production of Sergei Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel from the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Prokofiev's disturbingly enigmatic opera was never performed during his lifetime it was considered too decadent by Stalin and his successors but David Freeman's imaginative production asserts it as one of the composer's greatest masterpieces. Galina Gorchakova and Sergei Leiferkus inspire with brilliant performances in the two main roles. The opera is derived from a novel by the Russian decadent Valéry Bryusov. Ostensibly, it is a tale of religious hysteria and demonic possession and also explores symbolically the love triangle endured by the writer and his self-destructive lover, the poet Nina Petrovskaya. David Freeman has completely entered into this opera's strangely unnerving world. Evil is all around us and in his sensational production the image is taken quite literally.